Some ten years after Frank Rademacher settled in Crete, Nebraska and was evidently doing quite well, his older brother Joseph Rademacher left Germany with his wife, mother-in-law, and three children. I haven’t been able to nail down exactly why this family left Germany. It could have been simple economic opportunity and the news of Frank’s success in Nebraska.
I understand that it was the custom in Germany at that time that for the oldest brother in a family to care for his parents. We know that Joseph’s father died when Joseph was only three. One of the family legends is that Joseph had a duty to stay in Germany and could not leave for America until after his mother died. One of these days I will look for a record of his mother’s death to confirm this.
At any rate, the family arrived in New York City on February 4, 1878 aboard the ship S. S. Weser. Here’s the record from the ship’s manifest:
A transcription of this record shows that the family was in the “Steerage” class and that Joseph’s occupation was listed as “farmer”. This is interesting because there wasn’t much farming done near Olpe in Germany. Perhaps this signaled his intent to take up farming once he arrived in Nebraska. At any rate, this is the earliest evidence I’ve seen of a Rademacher ancestor associated with farming as an occupation.
The “Marie Rademacher” age 62 (last on the list) is, I believe, Joseph’s mother-in-law Maria Katharina Kipp (not Rademacher), but on the other hand Joseph’s mother’s name was named Maria also. So I need to do some more verification on that.
Their first stop after disembarking would have been the Castle Garden Immigration Station (this is where immigrants were processed prior to Ellis Island). Here is an aerial view of Castle Garden from a sketch made in 1880. Castle Garden is the round structure at the tip of Manhattan Island.
Here is an artist’s impression of the S.S. Weser at Castle Gardens in 1883. This is a lovely sketch made in 2006 and I was surprised to find it!
After processing at Castle Garden, the family probably left by train to go to Nebraska.